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Letters to the Editor

Health blather

August 18, 2009

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To the editor:

In a Aug. 14 Journal-World column, Charles Krauthammer wrote some 800 words about preventive health care costs.

Among those words were: “Prevention is a wondrous good, but in the aggregate it costs society money.” Mr. Krauthammer says in his column that many other worthwhile things cost society money; he mentioned treating heart attacks. One can assume that he would also agree that guardrails on Interstate highways cost society money.

Society spends this money, Mr. Krauthammer says, “because it alleviates human suffering.” My sense from reading Mr. Krauthammer’s column is that he opposes the current health reform, in part, because preventive health care costs society money. Mr. Krauthammer also says preventive health care alleviates human suffering. He says spending society’s money to alleviate human suffering is worthwhile.

So what was Mr. Krauthammer’s 800-word point? Why does the Journal-World pay money for the right to publish blather?

Comments

cato_the_elder 5 years, 4 months ago

Why does the letter writer take the time to write such blather? Is it perhaps because he doesn't have the mental acuity to understand what Charles Krauthammer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, is saying?

jaywalker 5 years, 4 months ago

It's not just the preventive care costs money, Paul, it's that the costs outweigh the benefits.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

"It's not just the preventive care costs money, Paul, it's that the costs outweigh the benefits."

Smoke 'em if you got, 'em, right, jaywalker? After all, dying an early death is the patriotic thing to do, and besides, old people suck.

kneejerkreaction 5 years, 4 months ago

LJW also publishes Leonard PItts. Makes sense to look at both sides BEFORE you make up your mind, Paul. Or would you just rather listen to Obot soundbites - hope, blah, change, blah, before you make up your mind who is right and who is oh so NOT right?

appleaday 5 years, 4 months ago

And all the children with cerebral palsy who just might have had a chance at a normal life if their mothers had received adequate prenatal (preventive) care might think differently about costs versus benefits.

kneejerkreaction 5 years, 4 months ago

My favorite comment of the day comes from Howard Dean reported by NPR no less, (paraphrasing)

Obama's healtch care initiative was dismantled in a 2-minute question by a 23-yr-old college student at the town hall in Grand Junction in which Obama backpeddled on the public option.

Goes to show you what happens when you start off with a flawed premise (the US health care system is broken and ONLY the fed. gov. can fix it). No matter which way you go from there or how fast, you're gonna arrive in a bad place.

kneejerkreaction 5 years, 4 months ago

Dean's comment to follow, -We have to have a pubic option included with health care reform to appease the far left activists.-

jaywalker 5 years, 4 months ago

"After all, dying an early death is the patriotic thing to do, and besides, old people suck."

Yup, that's exactly what I said. Could you be more of a tool?

If we could continue to print money like we have for the stimulus.....sure we can finance ev-er-y single little thing to squeeze an extra day or two out for all 310 million citizens. But since Xanadu doesn't exist there has to be give and take. For example, we have one of the lowest HIV ratios in the world. A major reason for this was the implementation of a needle exchange program. It made sense and was practical since it cost about 10k for every case of HIV prevented versus 200k for treatment of one infected person.
However, a universal system that included preventive care for all for everything is not fundable. Just colonoscopy's for 100 million citizens over 50 every single year would probably bankrupt the system. Now factor in all the other preventive care measures there are to administer to 310 million people.......it's pretty easy to see it's impossible.

"And all the children with cerebral palsy who just might have had a chance at a normal life if their mothers had received adequate prenatal (preventive) care might think differently about costs versus benefits."

10, 000 out of 4 million babies born per year in the U.S. have cerebral palsy, and 20% of that number develop in the first year after birth. I don't know where you're getting any kind of significant numbers of women who aren't getting adequate prenatal care, but other than an incredibly small number of cases involving legitimate malpractice, if parents aren't getting adequate care it's going to be their own fault. Poor, single mothers have access to state funded maternity coverage and even without maternity insurance a couple can contract with a hospital for between 2 and 3k to cover everything. Considering there are more than 100 different factors that could lead to cerebral palsy and considering the number of exams and tests run on expectant mothers from blood samples to ultrasounds, you're 'argument' doesn't hold water.

bankboy119 5 years, 4 months ago

Bozo,

I posted over on Inequitable Health on how Medicare thinks "old people suck" as well. After Obama was elected, Medicare put into place a capped payment for providing oxygen to patients. After 36 months they will be cut off. Sounds like the government wants the old people to die, not the current system.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

Maybe that cap was place under Bush to take effect after Obama? Bush/Cheney wanted to destroy Medicare like they did with the economy. Why? So the insurance industry could have access to even more of OUR tax dollars under a privatization scheme.

Health Care in the United States | Dollars & Sense http://www.dollarsandsense.org/healthcare.html

4 substantial reasons why Medicare Insurance for All should be the choice for all in america

  1. *Eliminates Politicians as shareholders: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061204075.html

  2. *Eliminates Paying More Getting Less http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0508harrison.html

  3. *Eliminates Leading Cause Of Bankruptcy http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/bankruptcy_study.html#ixzz0IQKZLHHh&C

Why use Medicare? It eliminates reinventing the wheel therefore saves a big bundle of money and time = efficient use of existing resources.

Medicare is in place therefore it is ready to roll which is convenient.

The only major change necessary is reimbursement numbers which the author and the 87 cosigners are perfectly aware. They are also very much aware of what the inefficient insurance companies pay out on invoices which is never full invoice. Insurance companies usually pay out about 50%-60%.

The USA needs to STOP being be the most expensive insurance/health care of the industrialized nations if americans want jobs back.

HR 676 Medicare for All insurance coverage is key to creating new wealth for america. The most expensive health insurance in the world is not the answer for keeping business costs down and keeping our cost of living somewhat in check

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

"After Obama was elected, Medicare put into place a capped payment for providing oxygen to patients."

Got a link to the text of the actual policy?

"After 36 months they will be cut off. Sounds like the government wants the old people to die, not the current system."

To which "current system" are you referring? The current for-profit system manages to exclude 1/3 of the country from any sort of coverage for any kind of care, including oxygen.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

By Krauthammer's logic, we should just prohibit healthcare of any sort for anybody-- after all, it just helps people survive, and survival is expensive. Total extinction of the human race would greatly lower taxes.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

What increases the cost of the most expensive medical insurance in the world?

• its bureaucracy • profits • high corporate salaries • advertising over charges • sales commissions • Shareholders are the primary clients of for-profit insurance companies, not patients • Special interest campaign dollars Golden parachutes * Politicians as shareholders: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061204075.html

What eliminates the most expensive medical insurance in the world ...HR 676. What will HR 676 and ONLY HR 676 eliminate? Eliminates high dollar medical insurance spending on what 2,000 health insurers add to the actual cost of providing care: • its bureaucracy • profits • high corporate salaries • advertising over charges • sales commissions • Shareholders ! are the primary clients of for-profit insurance companies, not patients • Special interest campaign dollars Golden parachutes Politicians as shareholders: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061204075.html

Kirk Larson 5 years, 4 months ago

Krauthammer is like a lot of conservatives. He's for the idea of helping people, but he's against anything that would actually DO it.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 4 months ago

So, because my mamagram came back negative it was a waste of money? The idea of only testing people who are actually going to get the disease doesn't make sense because you don't know until after the test what is going on. That's like saying that a dental checkup once a year is a waste of money if the dentist just finds out that you have healthy teeth. A lot of people are going to tune out the health message because they don't want to be dictated to by the middle class. And, why are "healthy" people, men or women, so bland and dull with no personality?

jaywalker 5 years, 4 months ago

"The current for-profit system manages to exclude 1/3 of the country from any sort of coverage for any kind of care"

Not an honest bone in your body, is there bozo? I hope you wash your hands alot 'cuz it's obvious from where you pull your numbers out of, besides thin air, that is.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

OK, so it's a slight exaggeration, jaywalker. But sadly, it's way less dishonest (and inaccurate) than the vast majority of posts on this forum, including a high percentage of yours.

jaywalker 5 years, 4 months ago

"OK, so it's a slight exaggeration"

That's laughable and sad. And that entire post is nothing but dishonest. A slight exaggeration?
48 million uninsured in this country 10-15 million are illegals that can't apply for health insurance 10 million more can afford it but choose not to pay That leaves 23 to 28 million, and not nearly all have been "excluded" Your "slight exaggeration".......1/3 of the country = 102 million. That's only 5x more than the truth, but what's 80 million or so?

Oh, and if a "high percentage" of my posts actually were dishonest one would think you'd be able to rebutt them from time to time instead of immaturely posting the drive-by ad hominems you've been reduced to. What a tool.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

"In 2003, the nonprofit watchdog group FamiliesUSA issued a report on executive pay in the 11 for-profit, publicly-traded health insurance companies that offer so-called Medicare+Choice plans, under which Medicare beneficiaries receive their coverage through a private insurer rather than directly from Medicare.

Annual CEO compensation ranged from $1.6 million at Humana to $76 million at Oxford, with an average of $15.1 million. And these figures do not include the average of $57.6 million in unexercised stock options these top dogs held.

Since executive pay is part of the overhead cost of running an insurance company, it's no wonder that traditional Medicare, which paid its chief executive $130,000 in 2002—and with no stock options—is able to operate with overhead costs of around 1%, while the private sector has overhead costs of 10% to 15%."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

"48 million uninsured in this country"

Add to that the number of under-insured, and those who will get denied coverage if they ever try to use their nominal health insurance, and it's easily up to 1/3 of the country who effectively lack health insurance.

"10-15 million are illegals that can't apply for health insurance"

Actually, the number of non-citizens who lack healthcare is 10 million, and that includes those who are here legally. Now who's being dishonest?

But just because someone is here "illegally," they're here because this society wants them here, and for those of us who have a sliver of compassion, chewing them up and spitting them out seems a bit unfair, especially since their slave wages are subsidizing the healthcare of many a wealthy American.

"10 million more can afford it but choose not to pay"

Really? Through which methodology was that determined? But if it's true, it's all the more reason to implement a single-payer system wherein everyone who can pay in, does.

"Your “slight exaggeration”…….1/3 of the country = 102 million. That's only 5x more than the truth, but what's 80 million or so?"

Don't come at me with this "truth" crap as if you have any. Still pumping yourself up, aren't you?

jaywalker 5 years, 4 months ago

"Don't come at me with this “truth” crap as if you have any. Still pumping yourself up, aren't you?"

Nothin' in that post worth a dime, bozo. Well done. And my numbers come from credible data, sorry I can't reach around and down like you for yours. But even if the number were 48 million flat, you'd still have more than doubled it with your initial bald faced lie. Exactly like your Iraq death toll figure where ya multiply by 10.
Don't know how many times you have to be told, but smackin' you around lends no more satisfaction than swattin' flies. Too easy. You can go pump yourself now.

notajayhawk 5 years, 4 months ago

jaywalker (Anonymous) says…

"Yup, that's exactly what I said. Could you be more of a tool?"

A rhetorical question I assume? It's theoretically possible, JW, but we are talking about boohoozo. Maybe he could be merrill, but that's a shade of difference I doubt anyone could notice.


bankboy119 (Anonymous) says…

"Sounds like the government wants the old people to die, not the current system."

Not just old people. Kansas Medicaid has a cap on how many months they'll pay for rental of a nebulizer. It's two.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…

"Got a link to the text of the actual policy?"

"The current for-profit system manages to exclude 1/3 of the country from any sort of coverage for any kind of care, including oxygen."

You have the unmitigated gall to ask someone else to back up their statement when you pull claims out of your diaper such as 100,000,000 people in this country not having any access to healthcare of any kind? The magnitude of your idiocy continues to astound, boohoozo.

And I'll be happy to back up that claim:

http://www2.ljworld.com/users/just_another_bozo_on_this_bus/comments/

"Don't come at me with this “truth” crap"

I don't blame you for being afraid of the truth, Herr Klowne, since you have such an obvious allergy to it.

tbaker 5 years, 4 months ago

To answer Mr. Mallamo's question, the LJW pays for Mr. Krauthammer's column for the same reason it provides him with the opportunity to trowel-out his statist blather: a forum for ideas.

To wit, providing one American an unearned benefit (such as health care), which is extorted by force from other Americans, no matter how laudable, is flatly unconstitutional not to mention immoral. Americans have no more right to health care than they do take-out Chinese food.

"To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” -Thomas Jefferson

Eileen Jones 5 years, 4 months ago

How to explain why people in 36 other countries, that have more available and better health care than we do, have longer life spans?

France is the top-rated country for quality of health year for ten years running. Their preventative care is outstanding. My daughter recently returned from that country and said everyone is fit and healthy-looking.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

“To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” -Thomas Jefferson

Tom was a great guy (except for the slave thing-- where does the moral rectitude of that fit into this quote?) but your use of this quote in today's economy amounts to a very well-stuffed straw man.

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